Responding to the ongoing impasse of the EU-Canada trade deal CETA, Senator Alice-Mary Higgins today said:
"The real issue here is not about Canada and it is not about Wallonia,
it is about the stubborn refusal, particularly by the European
Commission, to acknowledge that the inclusion of special investor
courts in international trade agreements is simply not appropriate or
is an opportunity now to revisit the text of CETA and look at the
terms of the agreement to ensure that the legitimate concerns raised
by EU and Canadian citizens are addressed. Europe can and should
deliver better, fairer, trade deals, free from the dangers posed by
investor courts and other poorly designed elements”.
proposed Investor Court System would operate separately from either
European or Canadian courts and would allow companies to sue states
for significant compensation whenever a new regulation is deemed to
impact on their expected future profits. Rulings under similar
mechanisms elsewhere in the world have often been for vast sums and
are widely regarded to have a chilling effect on regulation in areas
such as the environment, health and workers rights.
ongoing attempts to slip these courts into 'new generation' trade
deals such as TTIP and CETA is not only bad for public policy, it
is legally dubious. The German Constitutional Court has asked for
assurances on this issue and many feel that signing should wait until
the European Court of Justice has made a proper ruling on this".
Higgins pointed out that aside from the motion against provisional
application of CETA which passed in the Seanad and was disregarded by
the Irish Government, Belgium is the only EU member state where
parliamentary debate of this agreement has actually taken place.
not that Wallonian parliamentarians have a different view from
others, it is simply that they have had a chance to express it.
Indeed, their concerns, particularly in relation to corporate courts,
are shared by many parliamentarians and members of the public across
Europe. I hope we might now have a chance to actually address these
concerns and remove investor courts from all future trade deals.”
the design and text of trade deals to transparently and fully address
these important public concerns will strengthen the European project
and may indeed make it more possible to deliver future trade
deals, for example with the UK”.
For interviews contact Ciara Gaynor on 083 1840496, firstname.lastname@example.org